SportsEvents Magazine

SEP 2016

SportsEvents is edited for those who plan tournaments or other sports events.

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September 2016 26 THE BAYFRONT CONVENTION CENTER in Erie, PA offers more than 100,000 total square feet of space, including a 28,000-square-foot Great Hall, to go along with the floor-to-ceiling views of picturesque Presque Isle Bay. "The Bayfront Convention Center in Erie, PA is a unique event space located on the shores of Presque Isle Bay,"said Mark Jeanneret, events director for Bay- front Convention Center. "Event organiz- ers, participants and patrons rave about the exceptional waterfront views that keep them coming back year after year. The venue plays host to many sporting events each year, including gymnastics, pool, cheerleading, and wrestling. In 2016, the venue hosted the VNEA World Junior Pool Championships that attracted teams from as far away as New Zealand." Erie is also home to the Erie Insurance Arena, a multi-purpose indoor arena downtown that can seat between 6,700 and 6,900. The facility is home to local professional hockey, basketball and indoor football teams and was expanded and ren- ovated just three years ago. It has hosted events such as the Pennsylvania Junior Wrestling Championships, the NCAA Women's Frozen Four National Ice Hock- ey Championship and the NCAA Women's Division II Basketball Elite Eight. Both of Erie's major facilities open for sports events are represented by Erie Sports Commission, a division of Visit- Erie that's been in operation only about five years. The number of yearly sports events held in the city has more than qua- drupled from nine in 2012 to 38 in 2015 due to the commission's efforts. The award-winning ORANGE COUN- TY CONVENTION CENTER (OCCC), located in the heart of the Convention Center District, provides a multitude of sports events and competition options in two beautiful buildings— the West and North/South. The OCCC is host to AAU Volleyball, Youth Basketball of America, Zumba Fitness, the Magical Classic and Surf Expo, just to name a few. n Picture this: Loud rock music blasting out of arena speakers, thousands of excited fans, several dozen of the world's best off-road competitors ripping around the track on powerful 250cc motorcycles taking impossible turns at mind-blowing speeds, straightening up to make 30-foot jumps off of a number of tall mounds of smooth, packed dirt, and pyrotechnics, too, all being experienced live and projected on a huge Jumbotron. That was the scene this year at the AMSOIL Arenacross event at the Landers Center in Southaven, MS. The event will be back next year, and probably years to come, given the service and crowds they get at LC. Arenacross will be in 14 cities all over the U.S. in 2017. "The Landers Center is perfect for this," said Bill Heras, event manager for AMSOIL Arenacross. "It has a good-sized floor there so it allows us to change the track up a little bit with a different configuration. And the dirt for the floor at the Landers Center is stored right outside the back door of the Center so it's easy to get the floor in and out of the building for our event." Arenacross events are held in strategically selected regions all over the country. The Arenacross tour culminates in a championship event in Las Vegas. The best of the best qualify for the AMSOIL Supercross tour, a stepped-up event in larger venues like football stadiums and baseball parks and also ends up with a Vegas finale. n Arena Action! Special Feature: CONVENTION CENTERS The Landers Center

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